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Polish sailors freed after kidnap off Nigeria

08 December 2015, 21:33

Warsaw - Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Tuesday announced the release of five Polish sailors who were kidnapped last month off the coast of southern Nigeria, a piracy hotspot.

"It all ended well. I'm very happy the Polish sailors are coming home to their families safe and sound, and that they'll be able to spend the holidays with their families," Szydlo said.

She said that she had spoken to them on the phone but did not reveal the circumstances of their release, including whether Poland had paid a ransom.

Last week, Warsaw announced it had made contact with the kidnappers of the captain and four other crew members to negotiate their return.

Also read: Pirates kidnap Lithuanian, Ukrainian sailors off Nigeria

The rest of the 16-man crew managed to escape capture by locking themselves in the engine room of the cargo ship when the group of gunmen stormed the vessel, according to Polish media.

The 113-metre Szafir, belonging to Poland's Euroafrica company, was on its way to the Nigerian oil hub of Port Harcourt from Belgium.

Scores of kidnappings for ransom have occurred in the oil-rich Niger Delta in recent years.

Most of the hostages have been freed after payment of a ransom.

Szydlo thanked Nigerian officials for their help, as well as her foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski.


Tags warsaw kidnap

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